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Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:21 pm
by Halved Xenon Stinging
Hi all, this is just a possible idea, no guarantees, but the Lexington (Massachusetts) Quiz Bowl team is thinking about hosting a house write tournament next year. Just to see general interest, would anyone be interested in coming to this tournament? It would be held sometime in the fall, and there will be a cash prize.

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:59 pm
by KnicksRule
AMSA would definitely be interested in coming. However, since it would be your first time hosting, I would suggest for you to not write the questions yourself. Do you have any NAQT question writers on your team?

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:26 pm
by RexSueciae
Several things to keep in mind:
  • Writing an entire tournament is time-intensive. Unbelievably, mind-numbingly time-intensive. It's even worse if you procrastinate.
  • You'll need to write maybe 12 rounds (unless your field size is small) to give teams a good number of games--which, assuming that you're using the standard mACF 20/20 tossup/bonus format, comes out to 480 questions total. If you plan to host this tournament in precisely one year's time, you'll need to write more than one question per day, starting today, in order to finish on time. You mentioned that you plan to finish everything by this fall; you'll have to write even faster.
  • If this is your first time writing, you'll probably need someone to oversee things and make sure everything looks alright. Trust me, the first time I started writing I was absolutely dreadful. Having a few NAQT/HSAPQ writers (or, better yet, people who've worked on reputable housewrites in the past) on hand to offer advice is a good idea
  • Have you thought of your question distribution? Most tournaments have 4/4 of history, literature, and science, plus smaller amounts of Religion/Myth/Philosophy, Social Science, Fine Arts, Geography, and Trash. The subforum that lists question sets open for mirrors would be a good place to check to decide on this.
  • Cash prizes are...meh. The only person who offers those is Chip Beall, who is not a very good role model (by which I mean he is a purveyor of Bad Quizbowl). Most teams attend tournaments in order to play quizbowl; receiving awards beyond a trophy and maybe book prizes for the top X scorers is very uncommon.
Why not host a tournament with one of HSAPQ or NAQT's question sets? They're cheap and they've already built up a steady reputation. If you really want to get into the housewriting business, I suggest teaming up with some other school (preferably a school that's already done this before) and write it together.

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:39 pm
by High Dependency Unit
I could help out with some writing/subject editing (though I write for NAQT, I have zero editing experience), if you want. We can discuss this via private message if you're interested. I also think you need to find an experienced group to team up with-people like Bellarmine, TJ, etc. Someone has to head edit, and it should be someone with a good amount of experience.

As was said before, hosting on an NAQT or HSAPQ set is probably the best bet.

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:01 pm
by Cody
I would recommend you use a vendor set (i.e. HSAPQ or NAQT). Housewriting a set is a lot of work for very little gain when you can pay a nominal fee to not go through all the hassle.

edit: I also want to note that you actually need like 14 packets at minimum, not 12. That's at minimum 280/280 - 560 questions.

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:09 am
by UlyssesInvictus
I highly recommend against this. Unless you have someone editing this set who has edited or, at the least, written a set before, then I'm not optimistic about the output. That's not just a comment on the difficulty in objectively editing/writing good questions--it's also mind-numbingly difficult and frustrating to organize your teammates to actually write questions when some people, in essence, basically have no reason to meet deadlines you set for them. Despite JAMES having over two years to get written, I essentially wrote ~80% or more of the questions myself by the end.

If you're insistent on doing this, a collaboration is imperative, and make sure to get an editor immediately who can set a writing schedule and get people to stick to it.

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:59 am
by Corry
I'd also recommend against it. To a lot of high school teams, writing their own quizbowl packet set often sounds like a pretty neat idea (I actually tried it myself about a year back). However, the novelty of the idea really wears off after... the 50th tossup or so. And then, you're stuck with a set that still needs 430 questions to be written.

My recommendation: if you guys really, really want to write high school questions, just become writers at NAQT. That's what I did. They pay you $3.40 per tossup, which is great when you compare it to the expected revenue for a first-year high school set (which would probably be more like $1-2 per tossup in a best case scenario). You get lots of great practice writing questions, with none of the hassle of set editing and fulfilling writing commitments. Seriously, applying is actually pretty easy; everything is online. http://www.naqt.com/jobs.html

Re: Possible Lexington House Write 2014-15 Season

Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:14 am
by Maury Island incident
Devin,
First of all, our tournament should be in the winter or spring, as the local fall schedule is really crowded (Harvard Fall, MIT Fall, Yale Fall, Central MA Fall, Vermont Kickoff, and Boston Area Fall History Bowl).
Also, cash prizes would probably be a bad idea as we'd lose profit. If the point of hosting a tournament is to make money to fund nationals trips, it would make sense to give a trophy for first place and maybe second, but not give large cash prizes.
Finally, it would be really difficult to put together over 400 questions for a house write. Maybe we could keep compiling questions and maybe when you're a senior, hold our tournament on a house written set, but next year, hold it on an NAQT IS set.